AOC is Hope
Posted by Erica Gonzalez
March 18, 2019
I am so grateful for the hope that women have given me lately. I believe that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents hope for our country and for the future of all generations. I know she is the direct catalyst for change we need in America and the world. She is inspiring and demystifying the world of politics for young people. She is making her world accessible through social media and using language everyone understands. AOC is our best hope at fixing the environment for the future, and she PWNING old white dudes that think they know how to use twitter and the english language…the list goes on.
I know that she is an absolute badass, but I had still been thinking that our system is broken and nothing will ever get done. As a biology major, climate change is the number one issue that I am worried about when it comes to change. This administration and capitalism has had me in a low place for a while. Seeing the amount of waste at my job that contributes to climate change had me thinking lowly of my entire future. I have honestly been thinking about the future I am facing in which climate change is going to drastically change all of our lives/lifestyles.
The Earth has experienced drastic change with the average warming of just 1 degree Celsius since preindustrial times (Before Coal (B.C.)). At the rate we are going, we are on track to warm up by as much as 4 degrees by 2100. With just this one degree change, there have been more devastating hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, heat waves, and cold fronts. The rising, warming, and acidification of the ocean has killed and changed so many ecosystems within the ocean which impact many different fishing industries. Obviously, climate change has already wreaked havoc on terrestrial creatures as well. We have to cut our carbon emission by half in 12 years if we want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.
This information is terrifying as a poor, young person. Will I have my shit together by the time I need to spend all my money on a weather proof shelter built into the side of the earth to protect me from burning in a wildfire, drowning, or freezing from extreme cold? I had decided against having children at 12 years old because I do not want them to have to face the dying Earth on which only the rich will survive (or colonize Mars). Remember when Kanye West and Kim Kardashian hired their own private team of firefighters during devastating California wildfires last year? The point is, only rich people are going to be able to survive on this Earth or another planet at this rate of capitalism x climate change. During the recent cold front in Chicago, homeless people froze to death. This is 2019 and there is no reason that people are homeless, much less freezing to death.
As a poor, young person, understanding all of this is bleak. However, I was in Austin this past weekend for South By South West when I befriended Tiffany Jana. You may know them as the author of “Overcoming Bias” and “Erasing Institutional Bias”. I was so grateful to hang out with Tiffany and speak with them about unconscious bias. This made me realize how significant AOC really is. She is there despite all odds; She overcame the bias for us. Tiffany had just seen AOC speak and the combination of her natural energy and excitement along with inspiration from AOC was tangible. She and her colleague, Franklin Leonard, the founder of Blacklist (YES my lucky ass sat down with two masterminds and had….a conversation ohmygod) were speaking about the strides she is going to make. As I was complaining about the old white dudes there now, Franklin made the comment that even if she isn’t reelected in two years, there are thousands of little girls watching her now that she is inspiring. There will be fifty more of her that will set this complacent white men’s world ablaze in ten years. That gave me goosebumps and it gave me hope. Thanks AOC.